Friday, July 10, 2009

Vamos a comer?

Right now I am sitting in bed enjoying a relaxing Siesta. I love how Siesta is a legit part of the culture here and people are expected to simply come home and take a couple hours from their day to unwind--taking a siesta reminds me to enjoy my day in a new is a precious time to think that does not exist in the US. In the US the pace is hurried and there is simply no time to think. Anyway,
I am sitting here and my belly is completely full with Maria's delicious food. (A cous-cous type dish with cut up apples and sausage.) And I mean completely full. My first night here, it became quite clear to me that my meal plan would change drastically. Being used to eating a small portion, I was overwhelmed when Maria set my plate in front of me. There was so much food on my plate that I wasn't even sure there was a plate underneath. I ate what I could and set my fork down and sighed-feeling content. I looked up and Maria was glaring at me. "Tienes que comer toda" she said. Translation: "You have to eat all of it". I looked over at Caitlin nervously and her mouth was pursed shut trying not to smile. I slowly picked up my fork and began eating again...until I had finished all of it. At the time I resented this a little bit and I did not like the fact that she was literally forcing me to eat when I really felt I could not put one more thing in my mouth. Now, after having been here for a while I understand the food culture better. There are three meals- Spaniards do not really snack throughout the day, and neither do I anymore because each meal is so fulfilling. Every time we eat, the three of us sit down together at the table. It is a time to relax and enjoy the food that Maria has prepared for us. Each meal is a treasured and respected part of the day. Now I have grown more comfortable with Maria and I find myself looking forward to coming home and the three of us sitting down to eat together. However, one thing I find particularly amusing and hilarious is the way she sneaks up on us to tell us that the food is ready. She has this ability to shuffle around the apartment making no sound at all and then all of a sudden her head pops out of no where "Vamos a comer?", she says. It scares us every time. And at meals still I will look over at Maria, and her eyes are slowly glazing our plates to see how much we have eaten. If you can imagine...a table of three people, the only the sound is our forks and knives clinking and the muffled voice of a Spanish weather woman on tv... and three sets of eyes darting nervously from plate to plate. Sometimes I pick up my fork and move it around from place to place just to watch her follow it with her eyes. Is that wrong?

Monday, July 6, 2009


Today I started classes! My school-the Centro del Lenguas Modernas and it is nestled into the back streets of Granada and I love walking up there. I am taking Historia del Arte de Espana, and Civilizacion y Cultura Espanola as well as an Intensive spanish grammar class. There are a lot of students from different summer programs in my classes and not so many Spanish kids. My Historia del Arte professor walked into class and began belting "Granada" a Mexican standard written by Augustin Lara. His voice was actually really operatic and beautiful. He continued with a slideshow of pictures of him as a boy, on which he had drawn and doodled in order to illustrate his interests and hobbies. I think I am going to enjoy him. Spent the weekend on the beach in San Jose, Almeria Spain...amazing little beach town. Unfortunately, now my body looks like a red tie dyed shirt gone wrong because I didn't rub my spf 5000 in evenly. awesome. I am finding my own ways to break through these language barriers like forcing myself to ask questions, spending time meandering around clothing stores just listen to the day-to-day language of the shoppers, watching the news with Maria (my Senora) aka watching Michael Jackson on the news with Maria- and reading my spanish book. But sometimes there is no breaking through at all...times when I have to pull objects out of my purse one by one, as if it were charades-in order to communicate with someone. I like it though. And everyday I feel myself learning. My ability to understand has already gotten so much better and playing charades is becoming less and less frequent.